Tea party darling Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) wants to sell millions of acres of pristine federally-protected park land. Leading the list of potential buyers? Timber, mining, and petroleum corporations, of course.
The two-term Utah Republican cites a 1997 report, which Congress ordered the Clinton administration to produce, listing public lands that were not otherwise set aside for oil and gas or mineral extraction or that were not currently in the pipeline for wilderness consideration or protection. “While there are national treasures worthy of federal protection, there are lands that should be returned to private ownership,” Chaffetz said in introducing his legislation earlier this year. “If the land serves no public purpose and is ‘identified for disposal,’ let’s return it to private ownership.”
If we really “returned” the land to private ownership, those original owners would not be the ones currently lining the pockets of Rep. Chaffetz.